Understanding Self-Confidence in Leadership

Untitled design - 1

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

The single greatest thing you can do for your success is to build and learn to show self-confidence.

Self-confidence is not egotistic or acting like you are better than others. It is simply the belief that you know what to do and how to do it, that you are good at what you do, and that you can handle whatever comes your way.

The more I facilitate leadership training, the more I observe the need to emphasize self-confidence as a leadership trait.

Owning It

Confidence is a moving target. There are times when you feel strong and ready to confront your challenges head-on. But there are times when you feel overmatched. This is human nature, and every leader — regardless of tenure and talent — experiences a relentless pendulum swing of self-assurance.

Ask Yourself

It can be hard to assess your self-confidence.

Taking some time to ask a few questions and answer them honestly can help you gauge the areas where your confidence is high and those in which you can develop. Ask yourself if you agree with these statements:

  • I intuitively know what’s right for me.
  • I walk my talk.
  • I am honest with others.
  • I am honest with myself.
  • I feel comfortable being wrong.
  • I am more interested in finding out what is right than being right.
  • It is not important to me that I be right all the time.
  • I feel like I can meet any challenge.
  • I operate well under pressure.
  • I do not put others down.
  • I like to share the spotlight with others.
  • I have a clear vision for my life.

 Confident Traits

Studies show that confident people share many of the same traits. Cultivating those traits you already have, and developing those that you do not yet have, will build your overall self-confidence.

Remember – self-confidence is about building yourself up, not tearing others down. Confidence should not be mistaken for arrogance.

Having self-confidence means that you do not feel competitive with others – their success doesn’t take away from your own. Find ways to build up others. Compliment others. Acknowledge their contributions and express your gratitude. Being a mentor can also help to build others up by helping them develop skills, which will help them develop their self-confidence.

When you are confident, you make others around you feel confident too, and you don’t need to feel superior over others.